Author Archives: Ian Nott: Theatre du Jour

Bliss by Peter Carey/Tom Wright


Everyone has their own views on privileged white men in our society. What Peter Carey’s novel Bliss does, written four decades ago, is to present one of these 1980s privileged white man with an actual conscience and also one who has the capacity for self-reflection. This is one of the intriguing aspects of the novel that is translated to the stage so well by playwright Tom Wright in this new adaptation.


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Antony and Cleopatra at Bell Shakespeare

The story of Antony and Cleopatra is excellently conveyed by Bell Shakespeare Company in their first production for the 2018 season. Despite a muted contemporary-styled setting that seems to look either like a bland but comfortable living room in the suburbs or a nondescript meeting room in some inner city hotel reception room, most of the characters’ passions, anxieties and desires can be easily identified by the audience.


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Right Now by Catherine-Anne Toupin

The grim reality of life often is alleviated by joyful imaginings and our quest to indulge in the fantastical. This is one of the main themes in Catherine-Anne Toupin’s play, Right Now, published by the French-Canadian writer in February 2016. Sitting through this theatrical work is akin to walking through a dream ballet sequence from one of those old time musicals, although this is a much darker romp. Dare to take a strong inhale of those smelling salts and be taken to the world of Toupin’s characters.

Right now

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Cock by Mike Bartlett

Baker’s Dozen Theatre Company has done justice to this early work by the very- established playwright and TV screenwriter, Mike Bartlett. Bartlett wrote Cock when he was in his late 20s and it wowed the London audience at the Royal Court theatre and went on to win the Olivier Award for outstanding achievement in affiliate theatre in 2010. It is a thrilling venture into the landscape of young love conveying the angst, highs and shattering disappointments such terrain can bring.


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Colder by Lachlan Philpott

Colder, by Lachlan Philpott, is a play that coaxes us into accepting how joyless life can get at times. A play that centres around the experience of loss and grief is going to do this quite easily. The ‘not knowing’ aspect of loss, the facing up to the fact that there may be no answers, is the main theme of the text and this is carefully and, for the most part, beautifully conveyed.

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Good Muslim Boy by Osamah Sami

Good Muslim Boy is a witty piece which navigates the trials of family life and the coming to terms with grief. It is play featuring only three actors who have strong skills but more importantly, heart. This is a stage adaptation of the prize-winning memoir of the same name written by Osamah Sami. He and his co-writer Janice Muller succeed in bringing the essence of the memoir to the stage. It has incredibly touching moments, fast-paced dialogue, highly dramatic incidents and well-crafted moments of tension.

portrait of Sami

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HIR by Taylor Mac

Does blowing up the past necessarily set one free? This is a question among many that playwright Taylor Mac confronts us with his provocative satire, Hir (pronounced here). This hit play, relatively new, has been staged multiple times over the past handful of years and comes screaming to Melbourne for Midsumma as part of the Red Stitch 2018 Theatre Season.

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